Saturday, 10 December 2011

Introducing SEEN by Sumayyah Al Suwaidi...

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi’s label ‘SEEN’ was launched in Feb 2010 and has been growing at a fast pace ever since. She has been hailed as the first Emirati digital artist and is an avid entrepreneur shown by her ownership of one of the most famous multi brand stores in Abu Dhabi, ‘Grafika’. By supporting emergent fashion designers in her boutique, Sumayyah Al Suwaidi was inspired to create a label of her own. Her designs offer clients one off, unique pieces as no garment is made twice. This talented lady was chosen as one of the hottest people of the year 2011 by ITP’s Hot 100 as an entrepreneur.

You have been hailed as the first female Emirati Digital Artist. What inspired you to initially go into digital Art what how was the experience as a whole?
It was 1996 when I was introduced to photoshop when my cousin was in college studying graphic design, so then I had to have the software and i started playing around and creating my own images and by the time I was 18 I had my own website and I knew I wanted to study Graphic Design, but while I was studying I didn't feel complete I felt graphic design was very limiting for me so I started researching until I discovered the world of digital art and I produced my first collection in 2001, after the artworks sold out I knew I should peruse digital art, so I decided to work on an entire collection of 26 artworks in 2002 and I had my first group show in 2003 in Abu Dhabi's Beach Rotana Hotel.

It was a fantastic experience, I made many mistakes a long the way but i learned so much, and now it feels that all the 10 years hard work is being recognized and appreciated.

You are not just a designer but also manage a range of other successful businesses such as your Grafika store, can you tell us more about that?
I started Grafika as a gift store in 2005, but in 2009 I decided to transform it to a multi-brand boutique and slowly it started becoming a platform for all emerging fashion designers from the UAE and abroad, who get the chance to display their collections a long side established designers from around the world.

I never thought in just 2 years Grafika would become one of the most talked about stores in Abu Dhabi and for that I won the L'Officiel Arab Woman of the Year Award in 2010.

So tell us a bit about your fashion label 'SEEN'?
SEEN is a dream come true for me, I always wanted to have my own label especially that I never liked to wear a dress and someone else might have the same, so finally in February 2011 I launched my line at Grafika and it was an instant hit, then I went ahead to stocking it at Ush Boutique in Dubai, Dar Usha in Dubai, Dar Usha in Kuwait and online at

What makes 'SEEN' unique?

You will never find any of SEEN's pieces made twice, every outfit is unique. I might repeat the cut but not the fabric so no two women will wear the same exact dress.

What can we expect from your London Fashion Week debut?

Black will be the dominating color in the entire show, luxurious fabrics and unique cuts.

You have achieved so much recognition from awards and being invited to judge prestigious fashion competitions. What would you consider to be your career highlight to date?

Winning this year's both the Emirates Woman Achiever and Emirates Woman of the Year Awards.

What advise can you give to other budding fashion Entrepreneurs?
You have to be hands on your business 24/7 its not easy but you must if you want a successful business and don't let your passion for your business control your decisions.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


American InterContinental University (AIU) London hosted its exclusive 'Viral' Fashion Show on Tuesday 6th December 2011 at the One Mayfair, North Audley Street, London, W1K 6ZA.

Based on the theme of Biology, student designers were tasked with considering the evolution of clothing and fashion. As a natural science concerned with the study of life, Biology provided unlimited inspirational concepts. Students were able to apply ideas of structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution to fashion and really let their creative juices flow. The clothes on the catwalk were creative, contemporary, and fashion forward, forming a covetable array of appealing designs whilst challenging the mainstream.

The runway exhibited individual designs from first, second, and final year students. From menswear to womenswear, from pre-Collection Experimental Pieces to 3D Form design, clothing ranged from the commercial and conceptual to the avant-garde.

The Fashion Show provided key industry figures such as noted English fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, along with leading representatives from UK retail, with a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and view designs from the next generation of international fashion talent. The evening included a chic drinks reception on arrival, followed by the fashion show of exciting designs set to music.

All proceeds from the fashion show were in aid of The Esther Benjamins Trust, a charity that rescues Nepalese children from trafficking- including from Indian circuses where the children were forced to work as performers. The Esther Benjamins Trust offers the children the opportunity of a full education and a range of vocational training opportunities such as jewellery design.

Gill Stark, Dean of Fashion, AIU London said: "We are delighted to have presented the work of the Fashion Design students, who come to study from all over the world. The designs on the catwalk were the result of ten weeks of research, idea generation and development work, drawing on inspiration from science. The students were encouraged to design garments that reflect the creativity and innovation of London fashion, while embodying their developing philosophies in relation to fashion. The fashion students also learnt how to produce professional fashion shows and events. Exciting and glamorous, fashion shows are also a key marketing tool in the fashion industry."

Chris Kendrick, Head of Fundraising at The Esther Benjamins Trust said: "On behalf of everyone at The Esther Benjamins Trust, I'd like to express my gratitude to the students and staff at AIU London - we are privileged to have had their support since 2008 and it plays a significant role in raising awareness of our work in Nepal."
AIU London is situated in the heart of the fashion industry and for 35 years has been preparing students to pursue education in fashion design and fashion marketing. The school's fashion department also teaches optional modules in Paris.

For more information about AIU London or the event, please visit

For more information about The Esther Benjamins Trust, please visit

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Head to JANETROZZO.COM for a range of hand-designed Christmas decorations!

Popular homes and interiors website AlifeLessOrdinary changes name, but fans take heart!

 Home and gardens accessories website has relaunched with a new name that will make the quirky and distinctive brand easier to find!

The site relaunched as after fans persuaded the inspiration and owner of the site – Jane Trozzo – the website’s name should reflect her individual flare for interior design.

To celebrate the re-launch, Jane Trozzo is launching an exclusive range of personally designed Christmas accessories, including a stylish Red Ruffle Heart.

Thousands of people have already transformed their homes and gardens with the help of the quirky website which sells distinct and unusual accessories that can’t be found on the high street.

Said Jane Trozzo: “We changed the name because some customers were kind enough to say ‘You should really name the site after yourself, because your style is so distinct’. My husband’s surname is Italian which gives the new brand an interesting twist. Also, I think people will be able to find the new site more easily, if I’m honest!”

“Designing some Christmas accessories seemed a logical progression from selecting inspiring and intriguing items from around the world. I’ve enjoyed making our Christmas items. My favourite is the Red Ruffle Heart, which is perfect for all year round! products are all made from natural materials including linen, jute, silk, lead, wood and flax – and are designed to suit all budgets.

The website offers everything from jute floor cushions and chunky kitchen jars to luxurious antique design lighting, Japanese rain chains and antique-effect sunflower mirrors. regularly supplies accessories for magazine and newspaper shoots and features stunning photography to profile the extensive range of products.

The new Jane Trozzo designed range of Christmas accessories(pictured), including pot pourie, garland, cinnamon sticks and a ruffle Christmas tree, is currently available on the site. The Red Ruffle Heart, made from felt, will be priced at £18.

“As has grown, the people who shop with us have become more like friends than customers. Interior design is something I am passionate about and it’s a joy to share my love with others,” added Jane.

Visit for a full range of products